If cocktails are your poison, you might be tempted to run away to the Ego Circus, a four-month mixology festival in Florence’s bars.
On until March 30, talented Italian and international barmen are shaking things up at a variety of locations. Bar Empireo at Hotel Plaza Lucchesi is the festival’s hub, while events will also be held at Rasputin, Rex, Dome, Gilli, Ditta Artigianale, Habitat, Love Craft, Mad, La Ménagère and the Atrium Bar at the Four Seasons. Cocktails are concocted by a guest barman from 6.30 to 8.30pm before the resident barman takes over the reins as the out-of-town mixologist moves to another bar in the city.
This year’s guest barmen include Maurizio Zanni, from Antiquario, in Naples; Giulio Tabaletti, from Gradisca, in Genoa; Mario Farulla, from Baccano, in Rome; and Yuri Gelmini, from Milan’s Surfer’s Garden.
“Ego Circus has evolved with the flow that is bringing Florence increasingly to the centre of Italy’s mixology scene,” commented Gabriele Frongia, the founder of Ego Circus and food and beverage manager at Bar Empireo. “This year, we have the pleasure of welcoming three international barmen and ten mixologists from all over Italy.”
In addition to savouring the spoils, connoisseurs can get to grips with innovative masterclasses led by world-class mixologists from Singapore’s 28 Hong Kong Street (January 13) and Moscow’s Delicatessen. The two-hour afternoon masterclasses, held at Hotel Plaza Lucchesi, cost 40 euro and include a happy hour (email [email protected] to book).
A selection of non-alcoholic cocktails will be served free of charge to designated drivers at the end of the night to emphasize the importance of responsible drinking. The Ego Circus nights are open to all; no reservations needed.